Late Night Thinkin'

CD Cover Sleepyhead
Sealed Fate

Review by Michael O'Donahue

45-second excerpt from "Gamblers Don't Gamble" (various formats)

Sleepyhead sound pretty good, like they have some sort of plan or idea or maybe just a brain up there somewhere, but they just don't quite pull it off. Their songs are alright, but they mostly sort of start up, wander around a bit and, too many minutes later, they stop. They just don't grab you. Each song has a little bit of something -- like the backing vocals in "Gamblers Don't Gamble" -- but it just doesn't ever quite come together: a song will perk your interest with a cool guitar part or a tempo change and then just as quickly lose you again. The self-conscious, hoarse-whisper vocals get grating after a while, too. I wish I had singer Chris O'Rourke's phone number so I could call him and say "LET 'ER RIP, MAN! UNLEASH THE BEAST WITHIN... WIMP!" Oh well.

That Sixties thing is everywhere on this CD, especially the vaguely Stones-flavoured guitar throughout and the boring organ sorta à la ? & the Mysterions, but played by a non-keyboard player -- it's a good gimmick, but it's so overdone that it makes the otherwise pleasant title track a bit of an endurance test. There's nothing wrong with the Sixties, it's just that with Sleepyhead it's all so... I want to like this record, I tried, there's some good stuff here, but... it never really comes together.

Artist Contact Info: PO Box 9183 #120, Cambridge, MA, 02139 USA

First published in Drop-D Magazine on February 22, 1998

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